Netanyahu takes another step to demolish the brand

on 81 Comments

The premier attacks the Arab spring. What a tragic misreading of history– by a rightwing leader of a coalition with racists in it. But could Labor or Kadima do any different? Maybe not. The Guardian:

Binyamin Netanyahu has launched a scathing attack on the uprisings in the Middle East, saying that Arab countries are “moving not forward, but backward” and support from the US and European countries was naive.

The Israeli prime minister said the Arab spring was becoming an “Islamic, anti-western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave”.

Speaking to the Israeli parliament amid…

(Hat tip MW commenter seafoid)

81 Responses

  1. john h
    November 24, 2011, 4:30 pm

    Netanyahu does, for once, say something actually true:

    “Reality is changing all the time, and if you don’t see it, your head is buried in the sand.”

    But he also demonstrates that truth:

    “I ask today, who here didn’t understand reality? Who here didn’t understand history?”

    He is not changing at all, so he has no understanding of reality or either question, no matter how many times he mouths that truth.

    So the answers to his questions are blowin’ in the wind.

    Reality is the choice of taking the easy way of learning from the mistakes of history, or of taking the hard way of being destined to be the one repeating them.

    He has chosen to bury his head in the sand and doesn’t see what’s just around the corner.

    Zionist Israel is about to repeat the history of the demise of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and apartheid South Africa.

    When will they ever learn?

    • seafoid
      November 24, 2011, 5:12 pm

      I think Greece is going through the agony that will face Israel shortly
      The occupation is Israel’s version of Greece’s debt binge. Greeks thought they were entitled to something they can’t have now. Israel is just as bad. Jewish entitlement is going to have to be scaled down drastically in a world that doesn’t care.

      link to nybooks.com
      Even if it is technically possible for these people to repay their debts, live within their means, and return to good standing inside the European Union, do they have the inner resources to do it? Or have they so lost their ability to feel connected to anything outside their small worlds that they would rather just shed their obligations? On the face of it, defaulting on their debts and walking away would seem a mad act: all Greek banks would instantly go bankrupt, the country would have no ability to pay for the many necessities it imports (oil, for instance), and the government would be punished for many years in the form of much higher interest rates, if and when it was allowed to borrow again. But the place does not behave as a collective…. It behaves as a collection of atomized particles, each of which has grown accustomed to pursuing its own interest at the expense of the common good. There’s no question that the government is resolved to at least try to re-create Greek civic life. The only question is: Can such a thing, once lost, ever be re-created? To Lewis, Greece marks a limit case for just how far a developed society can go off the rails.

      Or maybe Israel is San Jose

      link to vanityfair.com

      “How on earth did this happen?” I ask him. “The only way I can explain it,” he says, “is that they got the money because it was there.” But he has another way to explain it, and in a moment he offers it up. “I think we’ve suffered from a series of mass delusions,” he says.I didn’t completely understand what he meant, and said so. “We’re all going to be rich,” he says. “We’re all going to live forever. All the forces in the state are lined up to preserve the status quo. To preserve the delusion. And here—this place—is where the reality hits.”

      Or just a smaller version of the USA

      The richest society the world has ever seen has grown rich by devising better and better ways to give people what they want. The effect on the brain of lots of instant gratification is something like the effect on the right hand of cutting off the left: the more the lizard core is used the more dominant it becomes. “What we’re doing is minimizing the use of the part of the brain that lizards don’t have,” says Whybrow. “We’ve created physiological dysfunction. We have lost the ability to self-regulate, at all levels of the society. The $5 million you get paid at Goldman Sachs if you do whatever they ask you to do—that is the chocolate cake upgraded.”
      What happens when a society loses its ability to self-regulate, and insists on sacrificing its long-term interest for short-term rewards? How does the story end? “We could regulate ourselves if we chose to think about it,” Whybrow says. “But it does not appear that is what we are going to do.”

    • teta mother me
      November 25, 2011, 11:30 pm

      I see it from the opposite perspective.

      Reality is what never changes.
      Netanyahu is like that guy that Ron Suskind interviewed —

      The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

      Bibi lives in his own made-up fantasy world; he believes his own propaganda.

      What Bibi is complaining about is that more and more people are seeing through his BS and recognizing that it’s propaganda that does not comport with reality.

      Bibi is the pope who enforces the wrong theory about how the world works. Galileo looks at the world and sees reality; he invites the pope to look through his telescope to view reality as it is, but Pope Bibi insists that HIS view is the correct view.

  2. annie
    November 24, 2011, 4:34 pm

    love the title phil

    lol

    “moving not forward, but backward”

    the natives were so much happier under the dictatorship we provided for them.

    • Walid
      November 25, 2011, 3:23 am

      “moving not forward, but backward”
      the natives were so much happier under the dictatorship we provided for them.

      Annie, apart Netanyahu’s habitually nefarious reasons for making such statements, what he said was actually true. It’s hard for most to digest this because it goes against grain of the euphoria of the folkloric Arab springs in their rooting for the little guy. Some almost saw the light with the massacre of the Copts a few weeks back but lapsed back into the Arab Spring thing because it’s more romantic. The real Arab Spring has now actually started with the Egyptian youth calling for the downfall of military regime that has been ruling the country for 53 years and duping and using the Tahrir kids since 9 months. The US has been backing both the military and the Brotherhood and now these two groups are opposing each other and creating a even worse mess than when Mubarak was there. The Brotherhood is now playing the Tahrir kids against the military because they’re their ticket to get rid of the military and take over the country in the same way the military played them to get rid of Mubarak for them.

      Elsewhere, the US stopped backing the dictators, as you called it, but started backing the Brotherhoods that are going to be harder on the people than the former dictators ever were. Libya has already switched to Sharia Law and the new regime that includes al-Qaeda people put in place by the West is complaining that the West is still arming the Brotherhood there, probably to do a number on the al-Qaeda that are no longer needed by the West so the problems in Libya are far from over. Same rumble in Tunisia where last week, 30 groups of uniformed and armed insurgents held a military-styled demonstration to demand their promised piece of the pie. In Syria, Turkey and the West are backing the Brotherhood there to overthrow the dictator. Going from US-backed dictators to US-backed brotherhoods with medieval religious rule is in fact a move backward. This week saw the beginning of small revolts in the monarchies of Kuwait, Saudia and Jordan and since today is Friday, you can expect a lot of ugly head-bashings everywhere. It’s looking like things will be getting very hot in Saudi Arabia on December 5th.

      I think Netanyahu has just realized that these groupies that the West has been backing are in reality very rabidly anti-Israel, so it is a move backward, especially for Israel’s security. The US screwed up in its alliance with fundies in Afghanistan and in Iraq but still continues doing it in other places.

  3. Bill in Maryland
    November 24, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Sad enough that Netanyahu and Likud are firmly stationing themselves on the wrong side of history but, through the corrosive influence of the Israel Lobby in this country, Israel’s wrongheaded position will poison our foreign policy as well. Thanks to being joined at the hip to Israel courtesy the Lobby, we risk missing all the strategic and economic opportunities the Arab Spring might otherwise afford us.

    • seafoid
      November 24, 2011, 4:59 pm

      Israel is like a company that grew fat on the margins generated by asbestos. It will do anything to make sure asbestos stays legal. The costs of change are too great and it is too lazy to see the writing on the wall.

      It doesn’t even have to be asbestos. It could be camera film. Or PCs. Bibi should study General Motors post 2001. Or Kodak.

  4. Sand
    November 24, 2011, 4:41 pm

    Bibi: “When he cautioned Barack Obama and other western leaders against backing the revolt against Hosni Mubarak’s regime, he was told he failed to understand reality. “I ask today, who here didn’t understand reality? Who here didn’t understand history?”…”

    In other words: ‘I told ‘em — Israel must be the …. ONLY Democracy [nb: using Bibi’s definition of Democracy] in the Middle East! Come hell or high water — we needed those paid thugs around us to keep order and to maintain our unique little State of Jewish values and priviledge. bunker down mutter mutter bunker down — we will keep what is ours forever and ever.’

    Is there a checks and balances sanity clause in Israel?

  5. dumvitaestspesest
    November 24, 2011, 5:36 pm

    In so called meantime.
    “The latest multipurpose nuclear aircraft-carrier The George Bush of the US Navy has been redeployed from the Persian Gulf to the SYRIAN SHORES. The ship is capable of carrying up to 70 aircraft, including 48 attack jets. The aircraft-carrier is escorted by a group of vessels which contains a destroyer.
    In this connection, experts are giving both a pessimistic and comparatively moderate prospect of developments near the Syrian sea border. Maxim Minayev from the Russian analytical Centre of Political Situations says:
    “This is preparation for a military operation AGAINST SYRIA. These activities are reminiscent of a similar initiative WHEN A GROUP OF NATO vessels were concentrated NEAR LIBYA. Washington wants to collect a MAXIMUM dividend from the series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa.
    With this aim in mind, Washington is likely to start a military intervention even without UN sanctions. Now we are witnessing the FIRST STAGE stage of NATO naval contingents drawing up NEAR THE Syrian shorelines.”

    Oleg Kulakov, an expert in Oriental studies from the Armed Forces University, is not inclined to feel too emotional about the situation.

    “The reinforcement of the US aircraft-carrier fleet in the Mediterranean is more likely to be a THREAT. They are building up muscle in the region and this is undoubtedly an element of strong political intimidation. Military pressure is likely to be augmented by possible diplomatic demarche. However, all this does not mean direct military intervention.”

    Meanwhile, whipping up tension around Syria is taking place along different lines as well. The day before The George Bush was redeployed near the Syrian coastline, the Al-Arabiya Saudi TV channel circulated a piece of news from the Russians Are Coming! set. It reported that three Russian Navy ships entered Syrian territorial waters. The TV channel referred to a source close to Syrian top authorities.

    This news published by a Saudi newspaper was carried on by the Haaretz Israeli news source and a number of other regional media. The Russian Defence Ministry did not confirm this information in a conversation with The Voice of Russia.

    However, there is a Russian naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus, so it is small wonder that Russian Navy ships could be seen there. That port is the only Russian military base abroad at present. The agreement on keeping Soviet facilities there was signed by the Syrian government 40 years ago. At present there are only 50 Russian Black Sea Fleet sailors there. They have three piers, a floating repair shop, a peripherals warehouse and some utility rooms…”
    link to english.ruvr.ru

  6. justicewillprevail
    November 24, 2011, 6:26 pm

    Like a man out of time, King Canute is trying to command the waves lapping round his feet to recede. Having based an ideology structured around hostility and contempt for Middle Eastern people for his whole life, the old demagogue cannot conceal his opposition to the change of a status quo he is so wedded to – a fantasy idea of Israel as a crusader amidst a sea of backward, primitive savages. What held it together to Israel’s satisfaction was the presence of dictators and corrupt families, whose policies Israel embellished themselves with respect to the Palestinians. What if the Palestinians want the freedom others in the region are fighting for – this is what he cannot tolerate or even give credence to. Everything they have constructed is based on the supposition of an easily contained, suppressed and impoverished indigenous people who can be ignored, written out of history and corralled into ghettos patrolled by his militia. The waves are not receding, they are advancing, no wonder he is looking washed up and confused.

  7. wondering jew
    November 24, 2011, 6:49 pm

    The Arab spring is not a new dawn tomorrow as some seem to think. It will be a complicated process with ups and downs. To simplify as Netanyahu has done is inaccurate and polemic. But to call this the beautiful future that has already arrived and we are on the right side of history is naive. History is a roller coaster, the arab spring will be quite a ride. hang on to your hats. turkey versus syria? hang on to your hats.

  8. NormanF
    November 24, 2011, 10:09 pm

    Leftists fail to see reality. An ill wind is blowing now through the Middle East. The promise of freedom of the Arab Spring is being consumed by the totalitarian nightmare of the coming Arab Winter. Islamist totalitarianism is taking over one country after another like Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II. Slowly and surely, we’re watching a vast Black Curtain descend over a continent, dooming it to decades of poverty, intolerance, strife and fanaticism. This is not 1989 in Europe but the exact opposite. The Arab World intends to be the exception to the spirit of freedom, equality and openness that swept over the rest of the planet. Edmund Burke warned us that violent revolutions unchecked in their temperament and zeal, lead to worst kind of despotism, the most horrid and repugnant spirit of repression seen among men. We must resolutely reject and refuse to embrace that portentous development which threatens our lives, freedom and all that we hold dear to us. Our principles are not for sale.

    • Bill in Maryland
      November 25, 2011, 12:01 am

      “totalitarian nightmare ”
      Serious? tongue-in-cheek?

    • seafoid
      November 25, 2011, 3:44 am

      link to myrightword.blogspot.com

      NormanF said

      I don’t believe barbarians deserve a state.
      Yisrael Medad is given permission to quote me on it.

      We have a live one in da house

    • justicewillprevail
      November 25, 2011, 5:06 am

      What hypocrisy. It boils down to being terrified of letting people have their voice. Israeli Jews are always banging on about their right to ‘self-determination’ (aka land theft), but apparently are horrified at the prospect of anybody else exercising it.

      Juan Cole has a comprehensive rebuttal of the paranoid dictator Yahoo’s whine:

      link to juancole.com

      The last two paragraphs sum it up:

      “Netanyahu is so blinkered that he thinks his completely unrealistic stance that the West should have tried to keep the dictator Hosni Mubarak in power has been proved right. He is so captive of illogic that he cannot see the hypocrisy of claiming that the Tunisian democrats are “anti-liberal” while himself advocating continued dictatorship! And Netanyahu is so dedicated to the Greater Israel project that he cannot see that it is what generates “anti-Israel” sentiments among his neighbors. It is sort as if a con man who was stealing your brother’s property should call you a despot and a bigot for objecting to his theft.

      The one thing Netanyahu has right is that public opinion is going to start mattering in the Arab world in a new way, and that opinion is not favorable to Likud Party policies. As usual, Netanyahu is drawing a completely wrong conclusion from this reality — that he should accelerate and trumpet the very land theft to which Arab public opinion objects. Sooner or later the Likud is going to get its comeuppance for blind arrogance. I fear a lot of innocents are going to be harmed as a result.”

    • Shingo
      November 25, 2011, 5:54 am

      An ill wind is blowing now through the Middle East.

      It has been since the Balfour Declaration.

      The promise of freedom of the Arab Spring is being consumed by the totalitarian nightmare of the coming Arab Winter.

      Hello? They have been living under a totalitarian nightmare for close to a century, thanks to the West.

      The Arab World intends to be the exception to the spirit of freedom, equality and openness that swept over the rest of the planet.

      Zionism has been doing that for 60 years.

      We must resolutely reject and refuse to embrace that portentous development which threatens our lives, freedom and all that we hold dear to us. Our principles are not for sale.

      Our? Not all of us are right wing racist and ethnocentric supermacists like you Norman. And for principles being up for sale, I didn’t hear you complaining when Bibbi got those 29 standing ovations.

    • Chaos4700
      November 25, 2011, 8:24 am

      Why am I being censored again?

  9. Bandolero
    November 24, 2011, 10:11 pm

    The Israeli prime minister said the Arab spring was becoming an “Islamic … wave”.

    Well, I guess, that’s why it is called “Islamic awakening.” But, what I find interesting, what did Netanyahu think the “Islamic awakening” would become as opposed to “Islamic? Maybe Netanyahu thought the “Islamic awakening” would be “jewish” and the brothers want a “Jewish state”? Is he really THAT delusional?

    I think it would be interesting to know, what the lobby’s calcullation was when they signed onto Obama’s “Presidential Study Directive 11″ before the string of US-led regime changes in MENA were set in motion back in 2010.

    • Avi_G.
      November 25, 2011, 8:15 am

      The Israeli prime minister said the Arab spring was becoming an “Islamic … wave”.

      Well, I guess, that’s why it is called “Islamic awakening.” But, what I find interesting, what did Netanyahu think the “Islamic awakening” would become as opposed to “Islamic? Maybe Netanyahu thought the “Islamic awakening” would be “jewish” and the brothers want a “Jewish state”? Is he really THAT delusional?

      Netanyahu does not qualify “Islamic” because Israel and The Lobby in the U.S. have done a fantastic job of tarring the image of anything Islamic. They have made certain that “Islamic” will be synonymous with “evil”, “bad”, “backward”.

      And it also speaks to the level of hatred and racism that exists among the Israeli Jewish public and the American public in general.

      Remember that people like Pipes, Geller, Podhoretz, and Wiesenthal consistently insist that Islam is the source of all evil. When someone qualifies that with “Islamic extremists” they vehemently disagree claiming that Islam — whether moderate, Sufi or otherwise — is evil incarnate.

      In addition, despite protestations by U.S. officials that the so-called War on Terror is aimed at “Terrorists” not “Moslems”, the facts prove otherwise as U.S. authorities, like the NYPD and the FBI, surveil and harass innocent American Moslems on a regular basis.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 1:15 pm

        “Remember that people like Pipes, Geller, Podhoretz, and Wiesenthal consistently insist that Islam is the source of all evil. ”

        I should be grateful Avi didn’t include my name. Maybe I should light a candle.

  10. jewishgoyim
    November 24, 2011, 10:34 pm

    Well, this cuts through the fog of hypocrisy about the Arab Spring. Obama will have to follow suit and it’s gonna be clear to everyone that neoconism has absolutely nothing to do with democracy. It is a fascism.

  11. Krauss
    November 25, 2011, 2:35 am

    But, I ask you, is he wrong?
    Morocco is going to election today and it’s widely expected that the islamist party will more votes than any other party.
    In Egypt, the question is not whether the islamists will rule but whether they get the absolute majority or not.
    Libya, the same.
    Tunisia, islamist takeover.

    People explained away the results of the 2007 election of Hamas as people who are desperate and will thus seek easy solutions. But there’s a difference between a country like, say, Tunisia which hasn’t been to war for many decades and is much more safe than Palestine and has a long, albeit very strained, liberal tradition and Gaza on the other hand.

    Yet Tunisia is rapidly turning islamist. There are many secular parties which are socialist and want to alliviate the pains of the population, but they get overlooked. They don’t have the same value system, sharia etc, as the islamists.

    You know, Pew did a global research survey in 2010 and found that a stunning 84 percent of Egyptians support the death penalty for apostates and 82 percent support stoning adulterers.

    Remember that 10 % of the population in Egypt is Christian. So remove that, and you get around 95 % of all muslims in Egypt think it’s okay to kill people who leave Islam out of their own choice.

    As democracy looms near, minorities will be persecuted and secularism and liberalism will be destroyed.

    I may not always agree with Hitchens on most things, but he is right to fight ‘facism with an Islamic face’. Something many on the left shy away from.
    It’s also right to denounce claims that Arabs are ‘inherently’ undemocratic as if it is in their genes. Because that’s basic racism. Everyone is capable of liberalism and democracy and the Arab Spring was a great attempt.

    But it’s now crashing wildly into the cold depths of increased antidemocratic zealotry.
    Attack me all you want, but you will mourn the news that prove me (and Bibi) right.

    • Krauss
      November 25, 2011, 2:55 am

      By the way, I would add that I am no fan of Bibi in any way. I dislike the man and what he is doing to Israel. But he is right on this issue simply because that’s reality.
      This is what is happening.

      My point is that even when someone you dislike says something that’s true, you ought to look at the world in a way that is as objective as you can and think deeply about the question whether the events in the world merits this person a recognition of truth in her or his statement.

      Can you look at the sweeping victories of antidemocratic islamists who preach liberalism, but whose representatives have a plethora of illiberal statements, across the Arab world and not be concerned? Wave away any discontent by suggesting bigotry in your opponent’s mind? That’s too easy and a cop-out.
      But even worse than that: it’s stunning blindness to what’s actually happening on the ground here.

      The irony, of course, is that these events and the subsequent refusal for much of the left to acknowledge, even testily, that there is truth to this will strengthen the hand of Israel’s right wing. They will increasingly be able to say “look, we’re bad but look at the crazy islamists that are our neighbours. You cannot trust them! And this is what their people elected!”

      For all I care, the Middle East is slowly convoluting into something like a big, giant ideological bomb as increasingly militant Zionism will square off with increasingly militant Islamism.

      The loser here is democracy, on all sides.

      • tree
        November 25, 2011, 3:15 am

        You know, Pew did a global research survey in 2010 and found that a stunning 84 percent of Egyptians support the death penalty for apostates and 82 percent support stoning adulterers.

        Remember that 10 % of the population in Egypt is Christian. So remove that, and you get around 95 % of all muslims in Egypt think it’s okay to kill people who leave Islam out of their own choice.

        It always helps when citing a poll to link to the poll, and likewise helps if you just actually understand what the poll says and who was polled . Your above reference is wrong because the poll was not of all Egyptians, but of Muslim Egyptians and Muslims in numerous other countries. You can’t extrapolate out the Christians in Egypt from the poll numbers because they were never included in the survey in the first place.

        Here’s a link to the poll. Its not all as gloom and doom as you predict, and attitudes have not changed that much over the years, nor have they “gone backwards” as Netanyahu insists.

        link to pewglobal.org

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 4:17 am

        “You can’t extrapolate out the Christians in Egypt from the poll numbers because they were never included in the survey in the first place.”

        Tree, I agree it’s wrong to not include the Christian numbers in the poll but nonetheless, to have included them in this case would have simply diluted the overall results by a minute fraction and not substantially changed the end results. Staying with Africa for a moment and more specifically in Muslim and even in Christian Egypt, do you have an idea of the incidence of female genital mutilation that is prevalent there? To be maintained in such astronomically high numbers in this day and age is in effect a backward move to the dark age. The impending win for the Muslim Brotherhood is not encouraging since while the MB does not necessarily condone the FGM practice, it doesn’t condemn it either and some MB MPs are actually against banning it outright.

        From the New Republic 3 weeks ago:

        “… The campaign to end FGM in Egypt was fighting an uphill battle before the revolution. Although FGM was outlawed in 2007 after a 12-year-old girl died from the procedure, the practice is still widespread. Despite efforts to reduce it, the number of girls aged 15 to 17 who underwent FGM only dropped from 77 percent in 2005 to 74 percent in 2008, according to the 2008 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS). EDHS also showed that 91 percent of all women in Egypt between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone FGM. The practice is common not only among Muslims, but also in the Christian community, which constitutes 10 percent of the Egyptian population. A sanitized version of FGM has gained increased prevalence in recent years, presenting additional challenges. In 1995, only 45 percent of all FGM operations were conducted by doctors; by 2008, the percentage had risen to 72 percent. A young woman working as a maid and living in Cairo, who asked to be referred to only as Ayesha, did not even know that FGM is illegal. Her mother had put her through the procedure, and she told me that she would do the same. (Experts have found that the practice is mostly perpetuated by mothers making decisions for their daughters.) “Unless someone can show me what is wrong with it I don’t think there is any reason to change,” she said.”

        link to tnr.com

        Tree, if this isn’t backward, I don’t know what is.

      • tree
        November 25, 2011, 5:07 am

        Tree, I agree it’s wrong to not include the Christian numbers in the poll but nonetheless, to have included them in this case would have simply diluted the overall results by a minute fraction and not substantially changed the end results.

        You totally missed my point, Walid. Try re-reading the except from Krauss that I cited and the point I made.

        Krauss was taking a Pew poll of Muslims in Egypt and assuming it was a poll of ALL Egyptians and not just of Muslims. He then thought he could subtract the percentage of Christians in Egypt from the poll numbers and come up with a substantially larger percentage of Egyptian Muslims who wanted more severe punishments for certain behaviors. Read his post again, he was making assumptions that were totally incorrect about the poll. That was what I was criticizing in Krauss’ post, his misreading, or misunderstanding, of what the poll was saying and who it was polling.

        Tree, if this isn’t backward, I don’t know what is.

        Walid, it is not “moving backward”, it just isn’t moving forward on this particular practice. Moving backward would be an increase in the numbers. It obviously isn’t an Islamic practice, its a much older one which the secular dictatorship of Egypt wasn’t able to prevent either, so I don’t think its a certainty that the practice is going to increase substantially.

        Netanyahu and Krauss are not lamenting the fact that the Muslim Middle East isn’t moving forward fast enough, or even that it isn’t moving forward at all. They are arguing that it is moving backwards. The poll numbers don’t show that.

      • tree
        November 25, 2011, 5:29 am

        Arguing the opposite of Netanyahu’s stance, from 2009:

        link to time.com

        and 2010:

        link to pewforum.org

      • seafoid
        November 25, 2011, 8:24 am

        Walid

        FGM is Nile Valley culture.
        The Sudanese do it and the Masris do it.
        I asked a Sudani in Cairo once whether he thought of himself as Arab or not and he said “Ihna sha’ab wadi an neel”. We are Nile Valley people.

      • Avi_G.
        November 25, 2011, 8:27 am

        Walid says:
        November 25, 2011 at 4:17 am

        do you have an idea of the incidence of female genital mutilation that is prevalent there? To be maintained in such astronomically high numbers in this day and age is in effect a backward move to the dark age.

        tree, you’ll have to excuse Walid. Sometimes he can’t help but give orientalist propaganda a helping hand. He writes as though the practice is widespread to the point where mounds of clitorises dot the road from Tangier to Suez.

        Beside, as you, tree, have already noted, the practice has nothing to do with religion or culture. It has its roots in traditions native to North and Central Africa.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 9:17 am

        Tree, I agreed with you that it was wrong to go with the missing numbers as Krauss seems to have done. My agreement with him was not on his numbers acrobatics but on his thought about the Arab Springsnot being what people think they are. My point raised was to you, that on a total of 400 million Arabs, 20 or so million Christian Arabs, their numbers (5% of the total) would not substantially change the overall results. The moving backward thing is my way of looking at things. I always considered that if something didn’t go up or ahead, it was therefore going down or back, and this is what made me think that they were going backward. That whole Pew poll was meaningless and had the looks of something commissined for use by Israel’s hasbarists.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 9:48 am

        “tree, you’ll have to excuse Walid.”

        Avi, it’s more of a north-south occurrence rather than an east-west one and centered in Africa. Like male circumcision, it probably predates the Abrahamic faiths. I don’t know what made you think I was making it into a specifically Arab or a Muslim thing; Christians, Jews and animists to varrying degrees are into it too. The WHO says :

        “… Most of the girls and women who have undergone genital mutilation live in 28 African countries, although some live in Asia and the Middle East. They are also increasingly found in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA, primarily among immigrants from these countries. Today, the number of girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation is estimated at between 100 and 140 million. It is estimated that each year, a further 2 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM.”

        I used the FMG example to demonstrate the backwardness of the people, so because of it, I’m now helping the orientalists? 91 percent of all women in Egypt between the ages of 15 and 49 is no small number, Avi, and that number is provided by the health authorities.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 10:04 am

        “tree, you’ll have to excuse Walid.”

        Avi, it’s more of a north-south occurrence rather than an east-west one. Like male circumcision, it probably predates the Abrahamic faiths. I don’t know what made you think I was making it into a specifically Arab or a Muslim thing. Christians, Jews and animists to varrying degrees are into it too. The WHO says :

        “… Most of the girls and women who have undergone genital mutilation live in 28 African countries, although some live in Asia and the Middle East. They are also increasingly found in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA, primarily among immigrants from these countries. Today, the number of girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation is estimated at between 100 and 140 million. It is estimated that each year, a further 2 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM.”

        I used the FMG example in a discussion about backwardness. 91 percent of all women in Egypt between the ages of 15 and 49 is no small number, unless you think that this number is insignificant or the practice has nothing to do with not moving forward. The point I was making was that these fundamentalist springs won’t be making the needed changes and therefore a backward move. One of the biggest campaigners against FMG was Mubarak’s wife so now with the MB back on top and refusing to condemn the practice, one can conclude that it was a backward move.

      • Avi_G.
        November 25, 2011, 10:23 am

        I don’t know what made you think I was making it into a specifically Arab or a Muslim thing.

        You brought it up in the same context and within the same thread in which Arabs are called backward and then you wonder what made me think that?

        And it’s not exactly a north and south thing. Even in Ethiopia — 60% Christian population — female circumcision is prevalent. So why bring up something that is irrelevant to the Arab Spring and prop it up as though you, Netanyahu, and Pamella Geller are on the same page?

        I used the FMG example in a discussion about backwardness. 91 percent of all women in Egypt between the ages of 15 and 49 is no small number, unless you think that this number is insignificant or the practice has nothing to do with not moving forward.

        I don’t where you got the 91% figure, but a map from the World Health Organization shows otherwise:
        link to who.int

        In addition, if you think it sensible to give credence — by bringing up topics on which orientalist propaganda thrives — to labels that which Netanyahu uses due to his own ideological and racist views, then you are sorely mistaken.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 11:44 am

        “I don’t where you got the 91% figure, but a map from the World Health Organization shows otherwise:
        link to who.int”

        I got from a Betwa Sharma article in the New Republic 3 weeks back:

        link to tnr.com

        Your link to the WHO colour-coded map shows Egypt at over 70%

      • seafoid
        November 25, 2011, 8:31 am

        Krauss

        Bibi is going to sacrifice Israeli democracy to appease the settlers.

        Amos Schocken in Ha’aretz
        The necessary elimination of Israeli democracy

        link to haaretz.com

        He is slowly destroying the factors that keep the let’s call them “cosmopolitan” Israeli Jews tied to Israel.

        If Israel takes on the Arabs in a race to Talibanisation it will end in the destruction of Israel . The Israeli economy can’t manage the entitlement culture of the settlers.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 25, 2011, 10:54 am

        When the PM of a state which doesn’t let fully 50% of the people over whom it rules get to vote on the government of that state — based almost solely on the ethno-relgious status of the people involved — complains about someone else’s vision of governance, I will say, “attend to the beam in your own eye, hypocrit, not the mote in someone else’s.”

  12. Walid
    November 25, 2011, 3:47 am

    John, Norman, WJ and Kraus are calling it right on this one. I’m sure there are others like Keith and VR that are also seeing what’s happening eventhough we’re not hearing from them.

    “Arab Spring” was in reality an American-inspired and fanned Muslim Brotherhood Spring. Now we are seeing the start of a partial awakening of a legitimate Arab Spring in Egypt and I’m saying partial because it’s being played on to a certain degree by the Brotherhood there. The only other authentic Arab Spring that almost happened without having its strings pulled from the outside was by the Shia majority of Bahrain.

    • Shmuel
      November 25, 2011, 3:54 am

      Thanks, Walid, for your great comments on this (and other) subjects.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 4:24 am

        Thanks, Shmuel.

    • Shingo
      November 25, 2011, 5:39 am

      I agree Walid, though in many respoects, I see this as the continuation of the previous events. The crowds in Tahrir dispersed when Mubarak stepped down, but I doubt anyone in Egypt believed the fight had ended. The milirary was allowed to assume control and given the benfit of the doubt until they became careless as Moon of Alabama explained in his blog,

      The immediate reason for these renewed protest is a paper that was somehow published last week:

      The rally was called to protest a document floated by the government which declares the military the guardian of “constitutional legitimacy,” suggesting the armed forces could have the final word on major policies even after a new president is elected. The document, which includes guiding principles for Egypt’s new constitution, also introduces clauses that would shield it from civilian oversight.

      Most of Egypt’s pro-democracy groups object to the document, calling it an attempt to perpetuate military rule past the post-Mubarak transitional period which is supposed to end with the election of a new parliament and a new president.

      A democracy with the military as a guardian of “constitutional legitimacy” would not be a democracy at all. It would be military dictatorship with a pseudo-democratic face.

      I think it was innevitable that the demonstrations would have to resume after the dust had settled. Just because the head of the snake had been revealed does not mean the snake dissappeared with it.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2011, 8:23 am

        Shingo, a monster demonstration, probably a million, is gathered in Tahrir that’s refusing Tantawi’s appointment of Kamal Ganzouri as Prime Minister since this guy was part of Mubarak’s gang. There’s a counter demonstration of about 20,000 people also being currently held at the other end of town in the Abbassia district that’s pro-military and I’d guess the 20,000 are Brothers but I could be mistaken.

        The race for the presidency has 5 main candidates: El Baradei that will run on condition that funny things like you wrote about the military are removed, so he probably won’t run, which is a shame, Amr Moussa which looks like he’s the US’ man so he’ll surely win and 3 other guys all of them Islamists. Moussa wants the presidentials to happen as soon as possible because he’s sure to win and in no hurry for the general elections probably because he’s not anxious to have the MB guys in his hair.

    • Chaos4700
      November 25, 2011, 8:23 am

      I have to say I disagree significantly. I’m sure there are US/Israeli opportunists at work but this whirlwind that they may have sown (to varying potential degrees) has been out of their hands for a while now.

  13. Richard Witty
    November 25, 2011, 5:46 am

    Every Israeli leader to the left of Lieberman is hoping that the civilists among the Arab Spring end up defining the future of the country.

    • Chaos4700
      November 25, 2011, 8:21 am

      And who are Israelis to criticize what the Egyptian people want? At least the Egyptian people seem to want genuine democracy, which is more than can be said for “Jewish majority by ANY means necessary” Zionists like you.

      The Israeli “left” is still a violent, colonial militant force. Under no regime has Israel ever ceased to use military force against civilians or expand the colonial settlement enterprise. The Israeli “left” is farther to the right than even the “center” in the US!

      • seafoid
        November 25, 2011, 9:11 am

        the Israelis have no clue what to do

    • Avi_G.
      November 25, 2011, 8:35 am

      Every Israeli leader to the left of Lieberman is hoping that the civilists among the Arab Spring end up defining the future of the country.

      It looks like you and Walid have been drinking the same coolaid.

      By the way, what is a “civilist”?

      • Shmuel
        November 25, 2011, 9:08 am

        By the way, what is a “civilist”?

        Isn’t it a venereal disease?

      • Avi_G.
        November 25, 2011, 9:50 am

        Shmuel says:
        November 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

        By the way, what is a “civilist”?

        Isn’t it a venereal disease?

        It would appear that RW wants to see more cases of civilists. Luckily for him it’s contagious.

      • justicewillprevail
        November 25, 2011, 9:08 am

        Someone who agrees with Richard, and someone who won’t upset the regional bully Israel, by demanding inconvenient things like democracy, civil rights for all, justice across the region etc. Maybe Israel will end being the only gerrymandered democracy in the Middle East. LOL

      • James North
        November 25, 2011, 9:19 am

        Richard Witty explained, ‘Actually, I regard myself as quite the wordsmith. “Civilist’ is not one of my usual mispellings or elementary errors in English grammar. I’ve coined this new word, a little like my of formulation of “wholes, not holes,” because I want to see if it flies. Inside this body of an accountant is the soul of a frustrated poet.’

      • Richard Witty
        November 25, 2011, 1:18 pm

        Why the idiot wind response?

      • James North
        November 25, 2011, 2:00 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘One more example of me respecting other points of view, and simply and politely “making the better argument:”

        Why the idiot wind response?

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2011, 8:57 pm

        Richard Witty says: “Why the idiot wind response?”

        For those who don’t speak Zionist, I will translate:

        ‘Ouch, that one stung’

    • James North
      November 25, 2011, 9:14 am

      Richard Witty said, ‘Once again, I show my double standard. I’m not at all moved by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians coming out into the streets day after day, demanding democracy at the risk of their lives. All I care about is the impact on Israel. I call myself a “humanist.” That is false. I am actually a quite conservative Jewish nationalist, at bottom just like 3e, although I try and conceal my harsher views with hippie language.’

      • justicewillprevail
        November 25, 2011, 10:11 am

        Ah right, so that’s what he’s been smoking. Makes sense.

      • Richard Witty
        November 25, 2011, 1:21 pm

        Israelis and myself are supportive of the democratic urge of the Egyptian people, especially if it results in a peace in the region that is consented.

        To say that I am not concerned about Israel would be false. To say that I am only concerned about Israel and Israelis is also false.

        Your movement is not served by the maliciousness of the misrepresentation.

        Its weird that you are not concerned about the disruption from the original demonstration themes.

        You do know what “civilist” means.

      • eljay
        November 25, 2011, 5:30 pm

        >> RW: Every Israeli leader to the left of Lieberman is hoping that the civilists among the Arab Spring end up defining the future of the country.
        >> RW: You do know what “civilist” means.

        From Wikipedia:
        civilist (plural civilists)
        – (obsolete) One who studies or works with the civil law.
        – (obsolete, theology) One who rejects the moral authority of Christ but who nevertheless adheres to a moral code in line with “civil righteousness” and “good citizenship”.
        – (obsolete) A statesman, politician, or student of the political sciences.

        The definition does not appear to include the phrase “…who also accepts Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ and is willing to turn a blind eye to its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.”

      • James North
        November 25, 2011, 5:37 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘My arrogance is breathtaking. I misuse a word that is obsolete, and then I woof at people who ask me what it means!’

      • Shingo
        November 25, 2011, 6:26 pm

        Israelis and myself are supportive of the democratic urge of the Egyptian people, especially if it results in a peace in the region that is consented.

        What does consented peace mean Witty? Are you in favor of violence that is consented?

        Your movement is not served by the maliciousness of the misrepresentation.

        In other words, when we quote you and point out your hypocrisy, that’s not playing fair right?

        Its weird that you are not concerned about the disruption from the original demonstration themes.

        The themes are the same. Is this another one of your BS claims that the agenda has been redefined on a facebook page that you read somewhere but can’t find?

  14. eee
    November 25, 2011, 11:04 am

    Netanyahu was right from the beginning. He consistently supported Mubarak knowing that the alternatives would be worse. It is a conspiracy theory to think Israel or the US are directing things. The results in Tunisia prove that. The Arabs so far have shown they prefer Islamic parties and sharia based constitutions.

    • justicewillprevail
      November 25, 2011, 12:34 pm

      So you prefer dictators and despots. Nothing new there. Conspiracy theories of yours = strawmen. And your knowledge of ‘Arabs’ is about par for the course – whatever you read in the JP, or have decided on your West Bank raids and incursions from your goonsquad friends.

    • Mooser
      November 25, 2011, 5:55 pm

      The Arabs Jews so far have shown they prefer IslamicTalmudic parties and sharia Torah based constitutions.

    • Chaos4700
      November 25, 2011, 6:55 pm

      So you’re saying Netanyahu was right because democracy is wrong? Yeah that doesn’t sound fascist. Where’s Witty? Witty, is this fascism?

    • Cliff
      November 25, 2011, 9:11 pm

      ‘The Arabs’

      You’re disgusting, eee. And I doubt any Egyptian gives a shit what some pissant Zionist thinks of him/her. They actually have to fight for freedom. You only deny it of others.

      Petulant spoiled child.

    • teta mother me
      November 25, 2011, 11:23 pm

      Where’s Waldo Feltman?

  15. patm
    November 25, 2011, 11:41 am

    Netanyahu was right from the beginning.

    In your dreams, 3e. Israel has so far shown that it prefers the Spitting Jews.

  16. jonah
    November 25, 2011, 1:59 pm

    Oh yes, the democratic spring in the Arab world, welcome to good new old world.

    link to ynetnews.com

    • Walid
      November 25, 2011, 3:39 pm

      jonah says:
      November 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm
      Oh yes, the democratic spring in the Arab world, welcome to good new old world.
      link to ynetnews.com

      Welcome to the new world being formed by the West and by Israel, Jonah. Those people screaming for the death of Zionists were brought in from the cold by your American benefactors. It won’t be long before you will be hearing the same chants from your borders with Jordan and Syria. This is the bed that Israel has made for itself. Now it wants to expel 22,000 thousand of Bedouins from their natural habitat and you are wondering why people are chanting these things? Israelis are not very nice people.

      • jonah
        November 26, 2011, 5:25 pm

        “Those people screaming for the death of Zionists”

        There were screaming for the death of all Jews, Walid. Or do both words have the same significance for you (and for those people)? Seems logic to me – but it isn’t really a surprise.

        “Now it wants to expel 22,000 thousand of Bedouins from their natural habitat.”

        I challenge any western country to accept that more than 30 thousands of people who want to settle down where they want, on land legally (based on decisions ruled by the court) not belonging to them. You don’t need to accept it, but for comparison it may be interesting to hear the position of the Israeli government in this regard.
        link to chicago.mfa.gov.il

        “you are wondering why people are chanting these things?”

        Is this the canonical rationalization for the hatred against Israel?

        “Israelis are not very nice people.”

        Are these people the same you call Zionists, Walid?

      • jonah
        November 26, 2011, 5:28 pm

        You find the interview with Sharar Arieli here:
        link to wbez.org

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2011, 7:40 pm

        I challenge any western country to accept that more than 30 thousands of people who want to settle down where they want, on land legally (based on decisions ruled by the court) not belonging to them.

        How can the land not legally belong to them when they were there before Israel was created? That would be like the US arguing that they have no legal obligation to settle the Indians because there is no legal title to the land on which they live.

        The Bedouin relocation policy is simply another terms for the ongiong lan of ethnic cleasing by Israel.

        Are these people the same you call Zionists, Walid?

        Zionists are generally a derranged lot.

      • Walid
        November 27, 2011, 4:28 am

        “Are these people the same you call Zionists, Walid?

        Zionists are generally a derranged lot.”

        Shingo (and Jonah), It doesn’treally matter much what the people in Israel call themselves; it’s about what they do. That some in Israel are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause is becoming old hat and serving only to encourage and help in prolonging the agony. Every Jew living in Israel is directly or indirictly guilty of thievery of some form or other. Considering that over half of the water consumed in Israel and the settlements is stolen water, it means that all Israelis are enjoying the fruits of the theft whether in the glass of water they are drinking, the vegetables they are eating or the shower they are taking.

      • Shingo
        November 27, 2011, 6:11 am

        Every Jew living in Israel is directly or indirictly guilty of thievery of some form or other.

        Very true Walid.

        This was highlighed by the tent city demontrations. How is it that if the settlements and the occupation is so unpopular in Israel, that the organizers were do adamnets that these issues should not be included for fear or creating division within the movement? Surely if it is true that the majority oppposed the ettlements and the occupation, then the same would be true for the demonstrators right?

      • jonah
        November 27, 2011, 6:15 am

        “Every Jew living in Israel is directly or indirictly guilty of thievery of some form or other”

        Not the million and half Palestinians living in Israel as citizen of the Zionist state? Well, astonishing. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as the two sides of the same coin. You’re not making a good service to BDS.

      • Chaos4700
        November 27, 2011, 10:16 am

        The million and a half Palestinians living in Israel as second-class citizens of the Zionist state don’t need davidkas or armored bulldozers or “Jewish” permits to own homes.

        So you didn’t clearcut the forest. That doesn’t mean we can’t see the acres of rotting stumps you left behind when you plundered Palestine.

      • Walid
        November 27, 2011, 11:49 am

        “Not the million and half Palestinians living in Israel as citizen of the Zionist state? ”

        Of course not, Jonah, you can’t steal what’s yours, even if you wanted to. You have a million and a half Palestinan-Israelis living as second (can’t reside in Jewish-only towns) and third class(in unrecognized villages) citizens that the only thing they share on an equal footing with the Jews is the right to vote. And it ends there. Everything else from freedom to live anywhere in Israel, school budgets, social services and so on to Paletinian-Israelis lag behind those provided to Jews.

        Your wasting your effort calling me an antisemite; it doesn’t fizz on me.

      • Walid
        November 27, 2011, 12:36 pm

        Shingo, don’t believe for a second that any Israeli really believes that the settlements are evil. They say they are to throw you off the track but they’re not averse to enjoying the stolen fruits or any products coming from occupied areas. Think of the artists’ colony at Ein Hod that Israelis enjoy so much that used to be the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Ein Hawd, or Canada Park nature reserve they enjoy picniking and hiking in that used to be the villages of Imwas (Emmaus where Jesus appeared twice), Yalu and Beit Nuba dynamitted and bulldozed by the Israelis. There are 500 such locations in Israel to serve as reminders of what the thieves stole and that are like 500 1948 holocaust memorials. Now the one and only village to have survived the Israeli bulldozers, Lifta, is slated to be bulldozed too; it’s called “cultural cleansing” since no Palestinians live there:

        “… Near Jerusalem, the derelict village of Lifta captures the moment of destruction of Palestinian life in 1948, when Israeli forces conquered it. Lifta’s 2,000 villagers fled, mostly to East Jerusalem and the Ramallah area. Unlike many of the other 530 Palestinian villages conquered (and usually bulldozed) during the war, Lifta’s architecture remained largely intact. Several Jewish families illegally moved into former Palestinian homes. Some have now lived there for a number of decades. In another part of the village, people from the fringes of society have settled.

        But several dozen houses in Lifta have remained empty. They stand as monuments, the last remains of a Palestinian urban culture within the borders of Israel. ”

        link to seamless-israel.org

        Some Jews are trying to get the heritage people to stop the bulldozers to turn the Lifta site into a protected Ein Hod-like area that they can enjoy using, not because they give a damn about the Palestinians.

      • Chaos4700
        November 27, 2011, 1:14 pm

        I think unfortunately, Walid, you’re right on the mark. I can’t find the link in my bookmarks any more but I seem to recall an article by Avi Shlaim talking about the insincerity that pervades even liberals in Israel, that the Palestinians have to be saved from themselves at least as much as from Israel. I want to say that he’s said as much too but I don’t want to risk putting words in his mouth, but I’ve gotten that distinct impression from what our own Shmuel describes from the part of his life he spent in Israel.

        I’m reminded bittersweet of Thomas Jefferson, who while he was vocally anti-slavery, he wasn’t willing to release his slaves outright and didn’t believe that people of African descent belonged in the freshly minted American society even as free people — Jefferson was an advocate of sending freed slaves back to Africa, even though by that point it was a continent that was effectively foreign to the generations that grew up in the American colonies.

      • Potsherd2
        November 27, 2011, 1:20 pm

        Ynet, as usual, is spreading lies, as Juan Cole explains.

        And the “courts” that rule the lands don’t belong to the Beouins are a lie in themselves.

    • Chaos4700
      November 25, 2011, 6:57 pm

      So you’re saying that you don’t think any Arabs deserve democracy? Does that extend to all non-Jews, or are you just racist against Arabs?

    • Mooser
      November 25, 2011, 10:26 pm

      Oh yes, the democratic spring in the Arab Jewish world, welcome to good new old world.

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